We have reached our milestone of 1000 registered Street Libraries across Australia. Our aim is to have 5000 Street Libraries by 2021 help us make that happen by spreading the love of reading in your community.

KU Shalvey Preschool is our 1000th!

We interviewed Belinda the director of KU Preschool to find out how their Street Library has been embraced by their community and here is what she had to say.

Tell us a bit about yourself, your school and the community you live in.

My name is Belinda McFayden and I am the Director at KU Shalvey Preschool. I have been working at KU Shalvey since March 2017. KU Shalvey has been providing high quality early childhood education and care to the local community for over 40 years. We are a part of KU Children’s Services, one of Australia’s leading providers of preschools, childcare and other early education services, and we remain proudly not for profit. At KU Shalvey we provide a play-based learning program and place a strong emphasis on supporting the physical and emotional development of each child.

How did you hear about the Street Library movement?

We heard about the Street Library movement and were very enthusiastic about the idea. A number of other KU services have installed Street Libraries recently and we thought it would be a great idea to look into it as well.

What made you start a Street Library at your preschool?

We decided to start a Street Library because we wanted to encourage and support literacy, not only for the children who attend our preschool, but for the broader community as well.

What challenges and obstacles did you face getting the Street Library installed

We didn’t have too many issues installing the Street Library. The hardest decisions for us were deciding where to put the library and how we were going to decorate it!

Did you have any help getting it going? How did people help?

We didn’t need too much help to set up the Street Library. We found the whole process to be very easy and all we needed to get the program up and running was the support of our children, staff and families.

Why did you paint your Street Library the way you did?

We wanted to listen to the children and hear their thoughts and ideas on how the Street Library should look. The children had a meeting and decided on using a patchwork design. This allowed each child to contribute to the design of the library by painting their own squares.

What sort of books do you like to put in your Street Library?

We like to put all kinds of books in our Street Library. The more variety the better! Our library contains books for children of all ages as well as books of interest to children at our preschool, their siblings and others in our community.

How is a Street Library different from a normal preschool library?

The Street Library allows our children and families to bring in their own books and swap them for other books that interest them. They are able to keep books if they like, it encourages sharing and it is a great way of engaging with our families and local community.

Do you think your Street Library has encouraged literacy in your preschool?

Yes – the children at our preschool are very excited to see what new books are available in the library for them to borrow. This enthusiasm has helped support their growing interest in stories and reading.

Tell us a story about your Street Library that you think would encourage other preschool Directors/Teachers to start one

The whole process of setting up the Street Library at our preschool has been a very positive, enjoyable and rewarding experience. From the very beginning the children took complete ownership of the project and were excited to particular.